To paraphrase Heidi Klum, "One day you're in, the next day you're out," and twenty years later you're in again!
Personally, I like to start at the end: a crispy, buttery, seasoned bread crumb mixture that tops the assembled casserole.
Roughly tear about three slices of good bread into small pieces. Melt a couple of pats of butter in a hot skillet. Add the bread crumbs and whatever seasoning you like. (Try his homemade ranch seasoning if you wish.) Toss it all together in the skillet until it is blended and crispy. Set aside.
Next chop up about 2 cups of cooked chicken -- if you have leftovers, this is a good way to use them.
Blanch or lightly steam 2 or 3 stalks of broccoli, enough to make 2 cups chopped.
You'll want the broccoli to be softened, but not fully cooked. It should be bright green and still somewhat crispy.
Whip up some sauce. Start with 1 can of cream of chicken soup. (Or if you like, try my recipe for Homestead Company Chicken and use leftover sauce in place of the canned soup.) Add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. (If you've never tried making your own homemade mayo, it's easy. Check out my recipe here. ) Blend in a heaping tablespoon of curry powder and fresh-squeezed juice from half a lemon.
Butter a 2 quart or larger casserole dish, and assemble ingredients as follows:
- Layer in the broccoli first, and cover with the cooked chicken chunks.
- Spread the sauce over all.
- Top with grated cheddar cheese.
- Finish with the crumb topping.
Cover with foil, and bake in a preheated 350F oven until hot and bubbly -- since most of the ingredients are pre-cooked, it shouldn't take long. About 30 minutes.
And there you have it. This makes a delicious, healthy dinner for 2 to 4 people. If only 2, you're in luck, because this dish is one of those that tastes even better warmed up the next day.
If you're really smart, you'll double or triple all the quantities and make lots. Trust me -- it won't go to waste.